Stranger 27, Day 27 – Meet Brooke, the “Friendliest Singer”

Stranger 27, Day 27 - Meet Brooke

So one of the very faces I thought of when I set off on this project was this incredibly friendly barista at Starbucks. Instead of my name when ordering my drink, I once gave a superhero’s name — “Ironman”. Okay, okay, I still do it, and I cycle through superheros because it’s fun. So anyways, this particular barista has since called me Ironman with a smile on her face always greeting me and the other guests. She’s super friendly, and I barely knew her name.

Today, I got a chance to finally meet her, and I am glad I did.

Meet Brooke, 33

Who are you?

To start, I asked her if her name was “Brooke” with an “e”. Her response, “yes, separates me from a stream of water.” Haha. Nice.

“I’m a silly girl. I’m stuck in my 20’s still — my mentality. I work at Starbucks. I’m a barista. I’m a singer, songwriter, and producer. I am a daughter and a sister and a loving person. That’s pretty much it!” She smiles almost timidly.

What are your passions? Do you have any Dreams? If so, what are they?

“I’ve had a passion since I was 3-years-old to become a singer, and sing to everyone across the world. I’m passionate about singing anything. I’ve been singing my whole life.”

I asked her if this was her dream, too, to which she responded, “… it’s all wrapped into one — yeah! Entertain people with singing. I’m passionate about learning how to be as good as I can be as a singer.”

How did you find your voice?

“I’ve been in this music world since I was really young — a lot of soul and R&B music were my main influence from the 70s all the way till now. Pretty much every artist that I can consume has been my helper — I haven’t really said, ‘I need to be this way.’ I’m just growing and learning and accepting everything with music.”

You mentioned accepting situations… was there a really tough situation you had to accept?

“I’ve had so many tough situations. Mainly as a young person, it was mainly not having that set family — a broken family. Brothers living in different places. Sisters living in separate places. Parents never together. That was a challenge for me because I haven’t had a stable lifestyle at all. It’s been a lot of moving — every year, every year, something new. Kind of got used to it because you’re expecting change when you go through so many changes. But then again, I kind of want the stable lifestyle with just immediate family. So those were some of the challenging things as a child.”

“As an adult, it’s kind of similar because when you start out with instability, you try to get that as an adult and try to maintain what stable lifestyle as an adult I can do. My parents were dealing with having children too young… they weren’t ready to be parents.”

What’s a lesson you’ve learned from all that?

“To always reference back to love. In my teachings… I’ve pretty much accepted lots of spiritual teachings from many different ways. I grew up in a church lifestyle, but converted to learning meta-physical teaching. To me, the creator of all things is love. So I just take my mind back to meditating on love, and I feel like that helps me stay balanced and at peace and help everybody else.”

Brooke opens up to me and is a little taken aback realizing that I truly am learning about her. Then she says that she really doesn’t open up too much to the people around her. She admits that she’s always wanted to get to know me.

So how does someone get to know you (given you don’t share much in the first place)?

“So first of all, I’m not too much hidden because I wear my emotions on my sleeve. So most of the time when someone asks me how I’m doing, I’m going to automatically share. I’m not automatically closed up.”

She then smiles… “I’m a motor mouth! I could talk people’s ears off!” I laugh.

She continues, “I try not to push myself on people because I know I can do that. But it’s more or less if we can relate on something that I’ll share with you more about me”

Is there a common perception about you that people have that you’d like to dispel? If so, what is that?

“I think that because I’m sensitive and because I can be emotional about things easily, a lot of times, it can be considered weak. But I have learned that it’s actually a strength, and that’s because I’m not afraid to share how I feel. People who don’t share how they really feel are a little more weak — not willing to share their emotions. It’s something I learned. I thought like everyone else, ‘that made me weak’, but now, I’m learning that’s my strength!”

I promised to share with her Brene Brown’s TED talk and her book Daring Greatly that I read earlier this year. Bottom line: Vulnerability is not a weakness. It’s a strength. Great leaders are able to be confident and inspire others by being vulnerable.

If you could run into any Stranger with the intention of creating a conversation with them, who would you like that to be… of people you know of? (Thanks to Ed, Stranger 26)

This came to Brooke relatively quickly — “First person… the rapper T.I.”

“It’s because he’s had such a successful career with all the drama and issues with his personal life. I just wanted to more, or less, learn whatever it is you give to someone who’s a new artist — some advice and guidance. Anything! It seems like a challenging lifestyle to deal with regular stuff in, and promote yourself as a musical artist. Crazy!”

“That’s someone I’d love to meet.”

What would you like to ask tomorrow’s Stranger?

“How do you feel about all their life choices… if you could have the life you want, what would that be?”

After the handshake.

To Brooke: So Brooke, I’m so glad we finally sat down and met. Even though I didn’t share much about me, let’s face it — you’re more interesting. 🙂

Brooke is one of the many smiling faces we run into at coffee shops, restaurants, in the office, etc. She’s another example of someone who is incredibly friendly, and due to our “busyness” we don’t get beyond the typical “hello”. But just with a few questions and a couple minutes, I got to appreciate how Brooke works real hard on her passion of singing. It’s a life-long passion for her, and it sounds like the very passion that helps her through the challenges of life. She knows her WHY and her PURPOSE, as Simon Sinek would say, and I’m rooting for her.

Meet Brooke. No longer a Stranger.


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